NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York Mets captain David Wright is taking a swing at the person who criticized shortstop Ruben Tejada under the shield of anonymity earlier this week.
“That’s one of my biggest pet peeves in all of baseball,” Wright told the New York Daily News. “If you’re going to criticize the guy, put your name behind it.”
The New York Post reported on its website Monday night that the Mets were discouraged by Tejada’s fitness despite his participation in an eight-week conditioning program this offseason. An unnamed source told the paper that the shortstop “looks pretty much the same.”
“This is the best shape I have seen him come into spring in, and I can see he is moving around a lot better out there,” Wright said of Tejada.
New York Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran also chimed in on his former teammate, asking reporters about the Tejada situation after his spring debut Wednesday.
“Anonymous?” Beltran said, according to the Daily News. “Come on. Anonymous? Come forward, brother. If you have something to say, come forward and say it.”
Beltran also said Tejada, who he played with on the Mets for parts of two seasons, could be misunderstood because he’s so soft-spoken.
“Maybe they start putting a stamp on him, that he is that type of guy,” Beltran said. “But my experience with him is that he is a great kid, and I love him.”
Tejada, who reported to Port St. Lucie overweight in 2013, said last week that he feels “really good” heading into the season. The Mets are reportedly maintaining some degree of interest in free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew and Seattle Mariners infielder Nick Franklin.
“It is unfair that comments of that sort (were) made,” Alderson said, according to the Daily News. “It’s not something that I am proud of in terms how it necessarily represents the organization.”
Tejada, once considered the heir apparent to Jose Reyes, hit .202 with 12 doubles and 10 RBIs in 2013. His season, which included a lengthy demotion, ended when he fractured his leg on Sept. 18.
“Look, we have probably 30 front office and coaching staff down here,” Alderson added Wednesday on MLB Network. “There’s going to be a stray comment about players from time to time. That’s unfortunately the nature of the media in New York. It’s so pervasive that comments like that are going to be gleaned from time to time.
“We were happy with what Ruben did in the offseason. We’re hopeful that he’ll show significant improvement on the field — back to the levels he has demonstrated, so it’s not an unrealistic hope. But we continue to look at our middle-infield situation.”
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